Thursday, March 09, 2006

I feel certain that I now know what it would feel like to be caught in a feeding frenzy with sharks.

Where did I gain this knowledge?

At the Filene's Clearance Sale last night.

As many of you probably know, most of the Filene's Department Stores in the Boston area are closing to make way for Macy's or Bloomingdales or entirely other department stores. This is true of the Filene's at our local mall and I decided last night I would pick over whatever was left, and maybe find some fun costume jewlery or maybe a pair of shoes. I figured around 8PM on a Wednesday Night wouldn't be THAT busy, right?


Adam and I entered the store on the 2nd level and made our way to the home goods section which was SADLY demolished. I mean there was nothing left but a scant Christmas ornament selection, some dented Calphalon pans, and one wayward Kitchenaid Mixer.

As we made our way to the down escalator, I heard a faint buzzing which grew louder as we descended. And as the 1st floor came into view I understood why.

It was milling, nay, CRAWLING with crazed shoppers. The makeup counters had all been cleared out to make room for the china and women were huddled around the Kate Spade and Vera Wang patterns, checking every price sticker, carressing platinum banded dinner plates, examining rose patterned tea cups for damage, searcing for the matching gravy boat. I of course threw myself upon this mass, equally as frenzied, as Adam's faint voice reached me "I will be in the men's department".

I did happen upon some pieces in MY china pattern, but one dinner plate and a saucer does not a tablescape make. Still at 40% off, I had problems restraining myself from the vision of eating all my meals on one fabulous plate and forcing Adam and whatever dinner guests we may have to make do with the Pier One set we already have.

Anyway I did find some gorgeous pieces, including a divine Kate Spade tea set which unfortunately even at 50% off was still over $200. And therein lies the problem. No Deal of a Lifetimes in the china department.

So of course I moved on to costume jewlery.

This department was CRAWLING with shopping vultures. You know the kind. They stalk around a store, watching you gravitate towards something and the minute you put it down the pounce on it. In my case I had two vultures following me, one in a blue headscarf and one in a pink nurse's uniform. I found a really pretty Tiffanyesque silver beaded bracelet/necklace set for only $12.50. I examined it, even tried it on, and then put it down on the counter to try on another bracelet. Blue headed vulture then literally reached under my arm, snatched the box, and scurried away.

I even snapped a photo of her making her getaway

(i assure you, the necklace looked MUCH better on me)

I wasn't even sure I wanted it, but like a dog with a ball the minute someone else took it I Had To Have It. I was about to go after her when Pink Nurse Vulture descended on the bracelet rack I was perusing and snatched up a few bracelets including the one I was trying to try on. I felt double teamed and defeated.

So I moved on to shoes.

Not much to say in this department, just this: with shoes usually if they are on clearance, it is for a good reason. I don't need 5 inch heeled gold and feathered stilettos, nor do I need anything that combines paisley print and wedge heels. yick.

So that leaves only one place left to find shopping salvation: Handbags.

And you know, I had already committed the cardinal rule of shopping and decided I definitely wanted to buy something. Because as we all know once you decide you want to buy something, you are guaranteed to find NOTHING.

So I wandred dejectedly among the 40% off Etienne Aigniers and the 50% of J. Lo's, sick of metallics and tired of totes. And suddenly a beam from heaven shone down, and it illuminated one lone bag on a shelf littered with bronze leopard print clutches.

I immediately fell in sweet Ralph Lauren love and this bag had to come home with me. I glanced at the price tag. And decided that 40% off of the lowest price was not such a bad deal for such a classic, fabulous bag

Only the thing was, this bag was on a shelf marked 70% off. Could it be? I doubted it since every other bag on the shelf looked like a refugee from the 1980s. But either way, it had to be mine. So I brought it up to a cashier and asked her to check the price. She asked me where I found this bag and i walked her over to the 70% off shelves. She looked dubiously at the glittering clutches on the shelf, and then back at my beautiful bag and said "I don't think so". So I snagged a lady who actually works in the bag department, and had seen me milling around, and she confirmed that it was, in fact, 70% off.

You know when the sales lady doubts it could be on clearance then it MUST be a good deal.

So this fabulous bag, which has inspired me to find a way to go yachting this summer, and which is originally priced $168 and which is currently being sold on Ebay for $100, I got for the breath taking price of $25.20.

So take that vultures and Kate Spade and dented calphalon pans! Sometimes perseverance DOES have its rewards. And nothing says reward like a fabulous handbag.


Jaime said...

i love a good deal! you should celebrate with a nice bottle of champagne!

Sarah said...

haha or maybe some sparkling italian malt beverage? :-)

Nicky said...

Vultures? Picked-through items??? Oh no! You're making me nervous! I have to hit Filene's tomorrow to get clothes for my new job. And get a "structured" bag for work. (What that is, I'm not yet sure. I'll know it when I see it.) I have major anxiety in crowds. But it is Clinique Bonus time up here, so nothing can stop me! Do not get between me and a free gift with purchace!

Lindsay said...

Oh my GOSH, I am glad you came out of there alive. And how the bag was so discounted... dreams DO come true, each and every day. I shed a tear for you, Sarah.

Stephanie said...

I envy good bargain shoppers - what an unbelievable deal! That China pattern is really cute, too.

Andy said...

The bag is gorge. Matches you perfectly.

Anonymous said...

Wow, so sad to hear that Filene's is closing down :( I worked at one in NH during high school. Nice job on the shopping though... very cute bag!

Frankie said...

I bought a suit at Filene's for $17 last week. Can you imagine?!?!?

The Pink Kitty said...

We don't have Filene's here in CA but I know exactly what you went through! I STUPIDLY went to Nordstrom's Rack one weekend because they were having a sale. It was a ZOO! Full of vultures too!

That bag is gorgeous! A great deal! YAY!